you're watching cbs 5 eyewitness news in high definition. japan's worst earthquake in recorded history leaves the country crippled. hundreds are dead, but many more are still missing and powerful aftershocks are hampering rescue efforts. the 8.9 quake spawned a two story high tsunami that swept on shore and took out everything in its path. the devastation that left behind for miles inland. 5,000 miles and 11 hours later, the quake power surge slammed santa cruz harbor. the damage left in its wake and why coastal communities are still on edge. and another harbor to the
north hit hard. how today's tsunami brought back bitter memories of another deadly disaster. good evening, i'm dana king. >> and i'm ken. japan's north eastern coast tonight is a swampy waste land of broken houses, overturned cars and sludgy water. a state of emergency declared at another nuclear power plant because of cooling system failure. five reactor units are now in an unprecedented state of emergency. no radiation leaks have been detected. the official casualty toll, 236 dead. 725 missing. more than a thousand injured. 50,000 troops have been deployed to join in the rescue effort. and one day later, we are getting a broader look at the power of the earthquake and the tsunami it triggered. grace lee gives us a tour of the damage. grace. >> the last 24 hours have been difficult. a lot of people had nowhere to go because their homes were
destroyed. others had to spend the night in their cars because the roads were so damaged it was impossible to travel. and even more trying, those waiting to find out if loved ones live through that relentless tsunami. >> the most powerful earthquake recorded in japan rocked its people to the core. the 8.9 magnitude quake gave skyscrapers a good shake and rained architecture on its citizens. it's really frightening, this woman said in the town of yokahama, where people were dodging falling debris. >> i never experienced such shaking before. i could not keep standing and i never experienced such an earthquake before. >> and then only minutes later, a massive wall of water swallowed everything in its path. what looked like a boiling called rine, leaving a path of devastation three miles inland. caught in the grip of this
tsunami, cars were pounded together in its wash. >> a tsunami coming in several tweaks. >> then, a second wave roared ashore, ripping up vessels and carrying away buildings. nothing was spared in its wake. out at sea, the turbulent watercreated a swirling mess. we still don't know the state of that vessel and its crew. the airport tarmac in sendai was covered in a muddy mess, while passengers looked for an escape. then the fires. flames shot up hundreds of feet high at the oil refinery and cars that were slated for export charred to smoky remnants. entire villages have been destroyed and before the cleanup can even begin, crews are still looking for survivors who's cries can be heard beneath the rubble. hundreds have been found dead.
>> we see a pile. we have been looking for people, but we see nobody. >> the power is still out. phones are not working today. not only have a lot of people there lost everything, there are very few places to buy those basic supplies. today, people were lined up outside those very few operating stores stocking up on water and instant noodles and it could be years before they ever have a normal life again. >> amazing. grace lee, thank you. the tsunami warnings for the bay area, which were enacted early this morning have been downgraded to an advisory. earlier, some neighbors in coastal areas were encouraged to evacuate. people who live around half- moon bay headed for higher ground and parked their cars. this is the intersection of highways 92 and 35. about 6:30 this morning. neighbors in the second of pacifica were also asked to head out temporarily. there were no reports of any damage or injuries from the
surge in san mateo county. that county has received a state of emergency decloration, so has santa cruz, where we saw the most damage locally. our cameras were rolling as the water surged into the santa cruz harbor, destroying many boats that were tied up there. it didn't just happen once. it happened over and over again. kit. >> reporter: ken, the damage estimate here in the harbor alone, not including the boat is now up to $17 million. we are going to go to the tape now. >> they traveled across the pacific ocean overnight. coming from japan 5,000 miles away. to ravage the waters of santa cruz. >> what it's like to watch this? >> this is devastating. this is really devastating. i mean, it keeps getting worse. >> the tsunami surges started at 8:00 this morning and as they funneled through the
narrow channel beneath the murray street bridge, the waves sped up with udot directly in its path. at that point, nothing in the water was safe. that boat belonged to tom mcclarion. >> it is just a floating disaster out there. and who knows what's going to happen. >> at sun down, the swells were still coming. for scott kelly, watching his boat trapped in a cluster of other boats hanging on by a thread was agonizing. >> this sucks. >> the vessel with the green trim has been his home for the past two years. the only thing he can do now is drink beer and pray. >> devastated crash. i mean the world is sinking, what are you going to do? >> 17 boats have sunk, two drifted out to sea and as many 50 lifts were destroyed. one boat owner said, they are just fiberglass and replaceable. >> and that was kit in santa cruz. now to the north, the search
has been called off for a man swept out to sea off crescent city while taking photographs of the waves. crescent city is near the oregon border in del norte county. in the marina, docks tore apart and 35 boats were damaged when the tsunami ripped through the harbor. most people got their vessels out before the tsunami hit. the evacuation order has been lifted and people have been allowed to go back home. as japan attempts to recover from the earthquake, there's now the threat of a possible nuclear meltdown at three of the country's plants. radiation levels are elevated. and now, we are being told about a critical design flaw that may also have an impact. robert lyles talked with an expert about that. >> what i think is -- >> peter says when the coolant systems failed, that's not
because of an 8.9 earthquake. >> to me, there's not enough power somewhere. either that or the pipes are broken and i can't believe the pipes are broken because i don't think the earthquake was nearly strong enough for that. >> japan is not telling the public everything. >> this is completely out of the ordinary. the whole experience. >> he should know. the structural engineer pioneered many of the earthquake engineering techniques used in reactors worldwide. >> there's a possibility that radioactive material may be released into the air. >> he contacted cbs 5 from china, saying reactor buildings still stand. the only reason one reactor is seeping radiation into others are unable to control internal temperatures is because it could be a design flaw in the sense that if it caused the problem, obviously that has inadequate tsunami wall or
tsunami protection. >> believes the emergency generators are on the first level of the reactor buildings and that is the flaw, he says. the tsunami surge likely drowned the generators, so when operators tried switching them on, everything failed. it happened before in japan in july of 2007 when the world's largest nuclear power plant leaked radioactive water into the sea. japanese authorities didn't disclose information then. >> it was a public nightmare. public relation nightmare. this could happen here, too. >> nuclear experts say successful layers of security should prevent any leak of radiation. at this hour, the government is trying to get locomotive sized generators from the u.s. navy to prevent any meltdown. that is what the expert in our stair is saying. there's much this country's government is not revealing. >> that could take a couple
dais easily to get out to those locations. a bad situation gets worse by the minute. robert, thanks. coming up, the strong bond between the bay area and japan and the efforts already underway to help that country recover. and the science behind the disaster? japan. the geology that made it happen. why a disaster of that magnitude probably could not happen here. i'm meteorologist in the cbs 5 weather center. coming up, we'll take another look at that tsunami as it was moving on shore, and we'll talk about your weekend. next. ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
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the bay area is of course home to a large japanese american population. linda shows us how they are watching this devastation unfold. the pictures are terrifying. people running and dodging falling chunks of debris and pieces of buildings. then the tsunami swallowing towns in northern japan.
all of this seen live by friends and family living in the bay area. >> i have two friends who live in sendai, which is ground zero, and i'm not able to contact them. >> sazuki's family lives 100 miles from the area hit by the tsunami. he hasn't heard from any of them. >> i call 20 times, but i can't reach anybody. >> communications have been down, but some contact can be made through e-mail and social networking sites. he flew in from tokyo to san francisco just yesterday. she is worried about her country. >> well, that's a disaster and it's not good now. so i don't know what will we do? >> do you know if your home is o.k.? ingly think so, but i couldn't talk to my mom and family. >> that must worry you. >> right. >> she is flying home to tokyo
on monday. these japanese students are here for two weeks. they were able to skip family. the devastation is making hem anxious. >> i worry about japan. >> bay area japanese american groups are organizing fundraisers for disaster relief. the owners of a shop in san francisco are donating part of their proceeds to help family and friends back home. he wants to help. he doesn't know if his two brothers and sister are safe. go through my cell phone, my home phone, i just can't reach no one so far. >> in san francisco, cbs 5. >> also tonight, some japanese firefighters here in the bay area are stuck here still trying to get back home. they have been training here for about a week and were supposed to leave tomorrow.
two are from one of the hardest hit areas in japan. one has made contact with his family. the other told a translator he has not been able to reach any of his relatives. >> it's really frustrating that he can't be there and risking people. he can't do anything until the flight is available. >> they are working to find a way home. the protection district is the first american company up for a deployment to japan if the u.s. government decided to send in personnel. they are going to ask if those japanese firefighters can come with them on a military aircraft should they be deployed. >> we're going to check in with lawrence. >> yeah, what an amazing day. you know, that tsunami original forecast to hit just after 8:00
in the morning. came out late. check it out, folks, all that energy. all the way from that earthquake in japan soaring across the pacific at 600 miles per hour and hit handgun the coastline. the results, the damage really to be found in the santa cruise harbor. you get funneled into that area and millions of dollars in damage. all the marines there, releasing some of those. it was simply an amazing day. we have seen wave after wave come on shore and we saw other strange events. when you get something this strong, we have a whirlpool off the coastline there, as we saw the water rushing in and pulling back out and another tsunami would rush in and come back out. they went on throughout the day and continue into the evening. we have a tsunami advisory continuing in the coastline. this day turned out to be a beautiful day. the sunshine up above, but the evacuations at the coastline is
really sur real as we saw the tsunami moving on shore. tomorrow looks like partly cloudy skies, chance oaf showers late in the day. temperatures mainly in the 50s and 60s. temperatures out there now, 40s for the most part, 51 in oakland. looks like that brief break is about to come to an end. making its way towards the coastline, not a lot of energy, but a lot of subtropical moisture and that will start to slide in and that will bring a chance of rain. overnight into sunday it looks like a better rain. temperatures expected to be in the 0s and low 6 0áz outside tomorrow. so looks like a decent day tomorrow, but after that we get wet. plan on showers. chance of scattered showers. another storm rolls in on tuesday and staying unsettled. but this was some impressive day. this is one of the days we hope not to see very often.
>> amen to that. we are going to check other bay area headlines when we come back. ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
the corruption investigation in e department and checking bay area headlines now, the corruption investigation inside the san francisco police department will be turned over to the feds. da george gaskone who was police chief during the misconduct admits there's a conflict of interest. eight officers are accused of lying. nearly six cases have been dismissed since the allegations came it light. two men have been arrested in connection with a brutal attack on a caltrans passenger. the victim was waiting for a train at the redwood city station when a group of people attacked him. 18-year-old thomas herman and 19-year-old deshawn walker both of redwood city are being held on suspicion of robbery and assault. and the high school student who jumped off the golden gate bridge for fun may face
charges. 17-year-old otter via gomez survived the fall yesterday morning. the highway patrol is recommending a mental evaluation and possible trespassing charges. he said he did it for kicks. japan never saw it coming. the powerful devastating earthquake and tsunami. some people are wondering if it could happen here in the bay area. science editor checks it out. >> the bay area is the most lived upon vault system in the world and the most dangerous of them all is the hayward fault. could what happened off the northeast shore of japan give the heyward or any other bay area fault the nudge they finally need to snap? >> this is a tough question. it's an area where there's a lot of debate. in general, i would say no. these earthquakes are too far apart and the size is incredible. the fifth largest quake in the history of the planet. >> it's a reminder that we,
too, tend to be too conditioned on expecting it see in the future what we have seen in the past. whereas we might have only seen magnitude, let's say 7.5 in the bay, we should recognize that larger earthquakes can happen anywhere. >> but don't expect the san ann degree i can't andeas to be a 9. >> an 8.8 would be the highest we would get, because they are decoupled from each other from a part in the middle where it is not producing great earthquakes. a big earthquake would be a magnitude 6. the aftershock of the great japanese earthquake have been rolling in at the rate of one magnitude six every hour. in san francisco, i'm brian hackney, cbs 5 eyewitness news.
the spartans hope the clock doesn't strike midnight in vegas and could the saber cats be the only pro football team in the bay area this year? find out next in sports. ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
the nfl players union decertified so the players could individually have the right to file antitrust lawsuits. the owners counter by officially locking out the players. stay tuned. the legal drama is just beginning. top seed, utah state put an end to cinderella run. led the aggies. utah state hangs on 58-54. the only question mark for the stanford women entering the pack ten tournament is which is better? neca or shinay? >> she's better. >> i'm more experienced. >> at this point, she's better. that's an easy question. >> i won't take sides, they were better than anyone in an
arizona jersey. shanay leads to a fast break layup, then it is shanay with the sweeping hook off the glass. stanford blows out arizona 100- 71. take on 9th ranked ucla in the championship tomorrow. led cal by as many as 23 and cruised to a 63-50 win. dwight howard and the magic were up 21 early, but the warm turned in the second half, half court to dure reel wright. set a franchise record with 21 three's. finished with 39 points and 11 assists. final chance for the magic in overtime, but jason richardson is way off. that is your ball game. the warriors come back to knock off orlando 123-120. it is time for your friday night top five and we begin
with another buzzer beater. >> four seconds. marshal driving up to seller. and wins. >> get some facts and come back and see me. >> there's your facts, yukon's kendel walker scored 101 points. they will take on louisville in the finals. and number three, the slimmer pablo makes the stop and throws the one hopper to first and ends up with an error. and number two, the saber cats are back and so is mark. the 36-year-old throws six touchdowns in his first game since 2008. the saber cats beat the defending championship, 76-48. and at number one, if you are picking byu in the tournament, you may as well write jimmer. it was a 52 points.
nobody in the nba has done that t. we'll be right back. ,,,,,,,,,,,,
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